Fracture toughness assessment of ferritic–martensitic steel in liquid lead–bismuth eutectic

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The presence of micro-cracks at the surface of a ferritic–martensitic steel is known to favour its embrittlement by liquid metals and thus decrease the mechanical properties of the structural materials. Unfortunately, conventional fracture mechanics methods cannot be applied to tests in liquid metal environment due to the opaque and conducting nature of the LBE. Therefore new methods based on the normalization technique for assessment of plain strain fracture toughness in LBE were examined. This paper discusses the assessment of the plain strain fracture toughness of T91 steel in liquid lead bismuth environment at 473 K, tested at a displacement rate of 0.25 mm/min and makes the comparison with results obtained in air at the same temperature and displacement rate. Although there is a decrease of the fracture toughness by 20–30% when tested in LBE, the toughness of the T91 steel remains sufficient under the tested conditions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-357
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2009
EventE-MRS 2008 Spring Meeting - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 26 May 200830 May 2008


  • lead bismuth eutectic, fracture toughness, T91

ID: 79797